S&S Children's to publish second in Sáenz's LGBTQ series

S&S Children's to publish second in Sáenz's LGBTQ series

Simon & Schuster Children’s Books is to publish YA LGBTQ+ romance Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

It comes as the publisher announces plans to relaunch the first instalment in the YA series, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

Originally published in 2012, the first novel has sold over 110,000 copies in the UK via distribution, according to the publisher's statistics, but will now sit on the S&S Children’s Books UK list. S&S UK will also publish audiobook editions of the two titles, with the first book read by Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator and original star of musical "Hamilton".

S&S UK will relaunch Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe in May 2021, with a campaign leading up to publication of the sequel in October 2021 and will work with global sister companies on a co-ordinated English language launch. The novel is an LGBTQ+ coming-of-age story set in Texas in the late 1980s. It follows 15-year-old Aristotle and his growing friendship, then romance, with a boy named Dante.

In the sequel, Aristotle and Dante are growing up. In the first book, the two boys fall in love. Now they must learn what it means to stay in love – in a world that doesn’t seem to want them to exist. This is an achingly romantic, tender tale set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s America.

Ali Dougal, publishing director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World  from Stephanie Voros, rights director at S&S US.

Sáenz said: "I thought writing this sequel was a fool's errand. I didn't even think that I could compete with my own book. Once I got that idea out of my head, I think I have written an even better book."

Dougal added: "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a classic love story and holds a special place in many people’s hearts. We’re thrilled at the prospect of introducing these characters and their onward story to a new generation of readers, and proud to be making our love affair with it here at S&S UK official on our bestselling YA list. "

Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. The author teaches creative writing at the University of Texas in El Paso.